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Crouching Coldplay, Hidden Rih Rih: “Princess Of China” Video

June 4th, 2012 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

I was out of town for most of May but I’m baaaaack! And sick in bed. So I have nothing smart to say today about this Coldplay ft. Rihanna video for “Princess of China.” (If you do want a clever breakdown of all the song’s possible meanings, read my pal Molly Lambert’s Grantland post here.) The video’s just a hot mess of Orientalist imagery and a couple of terrifying manicures. And when they start fighting in the air a la Crouching Tiger, I had to laugh. The hurty nose-snort kind of laughter. Because that there was some seriously dorky shit. Like, the white man’s overbite version of kung fu fighting. I’m actually embarrassed for all parties involved:

And what does this song have to do with China anyway?

Never mind. I don’t care. Someone bring me some soup.

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Forever 21 And Its “Oriental Girl” Necklace

November 4th, 2011 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Forever 21 committed another “Allergic to Algebra”-type gaffe this week when fashion bloggers discovered the Korean American-owned company was selling an “Oriental Girl” necklace.

For anyone hoping to buy an Oriental Girl on the cheap–only one dolla fifty!–you should know that the item has been pulled, or it’s “out of stock,” as the Forever 21 website now states.

When the Forever 21 “Allergic to Algebra” shirt came out, I had to wonder what kind of Asians would sell such a dumbed-down, regressive and ultimately cynical product to the masses. Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Forever 21 And Its “Oriental Girl” Necklace

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I Went to Comic-Con and All I Got Was This Lousy L. Ron Hubbard Book

July 29th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

On Friday, I went to Comic-Con. I’ll tell you about it some day, after I get over my newly-acquired agoraphobia. Believe it or not, it was my third time. I went to my first Comic-Con ten years ago to hang out with my older brother, who was selling off some of his comics to pay for grad school. The most famous person in attendance then was Rob Zombie. Things have changed a lot since; it’s really corporate now and, in addition to nerds, there are Hollywood assholes and celebutards everywhere. Snooze.

The most interesting booth I came across at this year’s Comic-Con was the one selling reissues of L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction. Not just the science fiction he’s known for, but some pulp novels, too. The very nice lady with awful skin who sold me Spy Killer, a 1936 thriller about an American spy in Shanghai, informed me that “The Author” spent “quite a bit of time” in China and also spoke Chinese.


I honestly don’t know if she felt the need to tell me that because I am Chinese or because that gave L. Ron street cred or because she was, in some way, apologizing for the grotesque, chinky dude on the cover. They were also selling the book on tape and I had a listen; I can’t say for sure whether “The Author” spoke Chinese, but his Chinese characters sure do speak fluent…ching-chong.

Here are a few excerpts from Spy Killer:

Kurt went to the back of the room and found the round-faced, slit-eyed proprietor.

Lin Wang was small, hunched to one side, with a twisted back. He did not seem to have any neck muscles; his head sat rigidly upon his shoulders, pulled to one side. His face was deeply pocked, covered with yellowish scales which might come from some leprosy. Several great wrinkles lay like old scars against the cruel visage like ravines in a relief map. The wrinkles were filled with ancient poisonous dirt.

The garlic-reeking mouth of the Chinese was close to Kurt’s face.

And then my favorite line, which is almost a haiku:

He was too tall for a Japanese, he knew, but then some Japanese were tall.

Had me scratching my slit-eyed head for days.

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